Human Performance & Athletic Development
Prepare to Perform. Perform to Prosper.


Real Cardio 2.0






Extreme basket weaving

Movement = Increase in Heart Rate

Don't believe me? Check your pulse. Now stand up sit down and for kicks repeat this process for a total of 2 squats. Immediately  measure your heart rate again. I guarantee that your heart rate will increase even it is very subtle. Any activity that makes your heart beat more in exercise is cardio. Do not get me wrong when we say that "cardio" helps us lose weight, yes, we are correct but the schema of "cardio" and how it is thought of in practice has become misinterpreted. The appropriate way of approaching or naming training is through energy systems. An endurance athlete doesn't run and say they are doing cardio. They are simply training. I will not dive into energy systems at this moment (will save that for a different post) but what I will explain is that any mode of exercise will encourage weight loss if it is demanding enough. With that in mind, let's get into the fundamental processes behind this concept.

The Carbon Game

Everything about organic life is derived from carbon. Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are all storage form carbon chains at the molecular level. All energy comes from the sun, plants then in turn go through photosynthesis and store the sun's energy. Using the extra carbon in the atmosphere and sunlight, plants are able to store their energy and grow by taking in carbon chains and release oxygen into the air. Other animals eat the plants which stores their energy within themselves. To illustrate this:

Check out the plants, taking in energy and storing for use so that we can survive.

Check out the plants, taking in energy and storing for use so that we can survive.

Cows grazing, now they have the stored form of energy. Still carbon.

Cows grazing, now they have the stored form of energy. Still carbon.

Juicy Steaks, carbon based molecules, ready for human consumption.

Juicy Steaks, carbon based molecules, ready for human consumption.

Now, this cycle does not have to be strictly animal based. When we eat plants they are still carbon based molecules as well. So what does this have to do with cardio? How does this relate to weight loss?

If you remember in my last blog post prior to the current (Real Cardio) I explained that our main passage way of excreting fat is by breathing. Whenever we go through metabolism (burning calories) we end up with water that we use, ATP that is energy but dissipates as heat, and carbon that is attached to oxygen and released into the air (carbon dioxide)

In order to lose fat, you eat less food (carbon) and demand more oxygen (more work and breathing) to release stored carbon. 


Why Everything is "Cardio"

Why is everything cardio? As we read above, any movement that ups our heart rate and demands that our metabolism release more energy for active muscle  can quantify as "cardio." This is the reason why we can lose fat by purely lifting weights, jogging, biking, and all approaches of sorts (the best method is a blend, by the way) with a caloric deficit, the deficit being the most important aspect. Some of us do not like performing one mode of exercise so we will use different types of movements that will increase our heart rate to in turn lose fat. I personally prefer more weight lifting as the primary mode of fat loss with other approaches mixed in since this preserves muscle which aids in the fat burning process.

So What is the Take Home Message, Charles?

Remember this

The Human Carbon Game aka Fat Loss:

The best exercise and training program for fat loss is the program that you will do hard enough with consistency. Now that you understand the carbon game (cycle) I hope that you all can be more at ease about tackling your goals. There is a lot of misinformation in the fitness industry that can be quite confusing. Know the carbon game and implement this into practice and your body has no choice but to change.
Interested in a training protocol that you can implement on your own? Ready to have a downloadable application on your phone with your exercise and nutrition built in? This sounds like an infomercial but the truth is I am taking online clients. Check out my ONLINE TRAINING page and see how I can serve you best!




TrainingCharles SamsComment